Historic Landscape Characterisation

Ardudwy - Area 2 Is Mynydd and Mynydd Egryn (PRN 18235)


© Crown copyright. All rights reserved, Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, 100017916, 2005

Historic background

This bleak, upland area contains several important monuments from the early neolithic period (including Carneddau Hengwm). Although no domestic activity from this period has yet been found, the potential is immense (given the fact that the area remains relatively undisturbed by recent agriculture) and some work is on-going (Johnson and Roberts, 2001). There is also considerable evidence for occupation during the second millennium BC, with an important concentration of funerary and ritual monuments on Mynydd Egryn. There is a lot of relict archaeology here with a variety of funerary monuments as well as settlement and fields of the later prehistoric period.

The extensive settlement comprising platform houses and associated enclosures, set right at the western edge of this area on the top of the slope, has been dated by de Lewandowicz to the 16th or 17th century and may represent encroachment at that time onto the upland fringes. Otherwise there is no later settlement known from this area. Hafotty mines, further up and down to the south, are the remains of 19th-century manganese mining and the straight field walls are of a similar date.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Extensive relict archaeology (early prehistoric funerary and ritual, post-medieval settlement), drystone field walls

This area extends from the lower break of slope (below which is area 01) which runs approximately along the 200m contour, up to the ridge of the mountain range. The ground is less fertile than area 01, and rock outcrops form a major part of the ground cover. The most obvious features of the historic landscape are probably the lengths of massive dry stone wall, mostly dating from the 19th century, which cut across the area in straight lines (sometimes they even cut across earlier features, such as Carneddau Hengwm).

However, the most important aspect of the area is the extensive relict archaeology which spans the period from the neolithic to the later medieval period. The platform settlement on the edge of Mynydd Egryn covers many acres, while some of the earlier sites are more traditional monuments. There is no modern settlement in the area.


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